About Electric bits

Unlike water troubles, electrical troubles may be harder to spot. An egress of water is pretty obvious, but the lack of electricity where there should be some is a mystery. At this point Our Man James advocates the summoning of an expert, who will arrive with various probes and meters, suck his teeth and tell you its going to be expensive.

Basically the older the car, the simpler the electrics. You might have a magneto, which produces a spark and dispenses it to the plugs, or you might have a coil, which bungs a charge at the distributor for onward transmission to the plugs.

Then there are the ancillaries, lights, wipers, horn etc, which will run via a system of wires, known as the loom and take power either from the battery or if the engine is running via a dynamo or alternator. The wires were originally colour coded, so that you can trace an individual circuit in attempt to find a fault.

For those of a more practical nature, fixing an electrical fault is no more difficult than solving the odd murder, you narrow down the suspects until you find the culprit. Trouble is, just as it is possible for a murder suspect to inflict harm on a pursuer, so it is possible to for an electrical fault to inflict a good measure of pain and distress on the investigator. Shocks, burns and fire damage are not unheard of.

If you are unsure about your wiring , you may like to make contact with an enthusiastic family firm, who are producing large scale wiring diagrams for the popular classic cars. Currently they can cater for over 100 makes and models, so it is worth giving them a try. The wiring diagrams are printed on magnetic paper, so you can simply attach them to a metal bonnet whilst you work. They also produce an easy reference manual, containing a detachable wiring diagram plus lots of useful information about the servicing needs of your vehicle.Have a look at    www,framebook.co.uk

Our Man James would welcome input and advice about electrical problems. A simple discourse on Magnetos, Dynamos etc would be useful. Likewise if you have an electrical problem, someone might spark up with the answer.

About Registering your Classic Vehicle

Normally when you purchase a vehicle, it should be accompanied by a registration document (V5C), showing that its details are recorded at D.V.L.A. in Swansea. You are obliged to notify Swansea if you change anything to do with the vehicle, ownership, colour, engine etc. Watch out for new rules for scrapping a vehicle, although hopefully this will not apply to Classic Vehicles.

Where a vehicle is imported from abroad and is to be used on British Roads, it will need to be registered.

Where a vehicle has been ‘discovered’ often without paperwork, it will be necessary to make contact with Swansea to obtain a registration number and it is important to ask for a registration number which relates to the age of the vehicle.

In both of the above cases you will find that there is a Local Vehicle Registration Office near you and it is worth a visit. You should be furnished with the appropriate set of forms, which you complete and hand in. It is likely that you will be required to present your vehicle for inspection at some stage and this is best done by trailering it to the requisite location. Driving it there may well be illegal and will not be popular in most cases.

Some people are better at dealing with paperwork than others and for those who become distressed by the sight of an official looking form, then worry not help is at hand. There is a man who appears to have made a lifetime study of matters D.V.L.A and can cope with the myriad of officialdom with consummate ease.His knowledge of elderly vehicles is legendary, so Our Man James recommends that you contact Michael Worthington-Williams at   worthycomments@btconnect.com .

 

About Lubricants, wet and greasy stuff for ClassicVehicles

Rather like acquiring a new pet, you need to know quite quickly just what is good for it and what will upset it.

So it is with your Classic Vehicle, it will thrive on the right lubricants and may become expensive on the wrong ones. Our Man James takes a look at those available and gives heed to advice gained over the years.

Environmental Note; You already have a vehicle which was constructed prior to the global warming issue becoming so important. You may therefore feel obliged to use the eco -friendly fuels and oils, to make amends for your social transgression in acquiring such a device in the first place. Our Man James is sympathetic to the green issues but would rather not see the roadsides littered with broken Classic Vehicles, thereby adding further abuse to the environment.

Since the latter part of the last millennium, cars have acquired cats, not the type which regularly find warmth under the bonnet of vehicles in the Motor House and have to be ejected therefrom, but things that reduce the harmful emissions from the engine by means way beyond the writer’s expertise. ( cue for a boring blog perhaps). Using a special high tech oil suitable for cats, in an old engine can be a mistake.

Thoughts on making the right choice.

Firstly, if in the excitement of acquiring your Classic you can remember, ask the vendor what oils he has used and where. This will save time and give you a clue as to whether or not he/she has maintained the car in a sensible manner.

Secondly look in the Instruction book or better still, the Workshop manual, if the car comes with one. If not contact the owner’s club and find out if you can obtain one. If none available, ask the Club’s technical expert. Don’t be shy, he should know.

Generally speaking prewar cars and some of those built in the fifties and sixties, will probably fare best on straight 30 grade oil in winter and 40 grade in summer. These are available from the likes of Castrol, Penrite, Millers, Morris etc. They will not necessarily be cheap in comparison to budget 20/50’s and sundry other multigrades, but engine rebuilds are not cheap either.

Remember the oil changes in those times were carried out every three thousand miles or so, unlike modern cars which seem to survive for 20,000 miles between services. Also be aware that cars of the older type, will be a mite incontinent and probably burn a bit, so it is important to check the oil level regularly, i.e. at least once a week.

Modern multigrades contain detergents amongst other things. Hence that bit of sludge you have minding its own business in one corner of the sump, can with a modern multigrade, be seized and flung into some more important part of the works, causing blockage or worse.

Careful how you use running- in oil on a newly rebuilt engine with white metal bearings as opposed to shells. It can have the effect of eating away at your nice new white metalling.

If you are not sure what oil is in the various parts of your new acquisition, it may be worth draining everything out, consult the manual/club expert, as to what should go where, note it down and put what you know is right where you know it should be.

Fuel;

Early cars ran on unleaded. It was not until 1933 that lead arrived in petrol. In those days however you had to de-carbonise your engine about every 10,000 miles. This involved removal of the cylinder head, carefully scraping the carbon deposits off the top of the pistons, removing the valves and likewise cleaning them and re grinding them into their seats. The seating of the valves ensured that nothing leaked past the valves and a perfect flush fit was everything. Lead lubricated the valves and seats and helped to extend the period needed between de-carbonising. Modern fuels made the process redundant.

Enter the Green Party and eco- warriors. Lead quickly became bad news and had to go.  Engines without hardened valve seats were most at risk, but many could continue to be used on the new unleaded fuel. There are firms which will convert a cylinder head to take unleaded fuel and there are various additives one can use to replace the lead. Again this is a good moment to ask your Technical expert of the Club for advice.

One of the biggest issues at this time is the government’s desire to increase the amount of ethanol in petrol. This environmentally friendly idea is causing problems with the older vehicle as this substance appears to attack certain rubber and other seals and it has been reported that it will eat through a motorcycle’s fibregalss fuel tank with disastrous results.

Certainly there appears to be an upsurge in fuel related problems in the classic car world.Where a rusty fuel tank has been treated with a sealant, it seems that the ethanol breaks down this sealant, blocking fuel lines, jets and so forth. There is an upsurge in the demand for new fuel tanks. The F.B.H.V.C.* is combating the use of ethanol on behalf of the classic car movement. Comments and updates welcomed.

Good News- Well done F.B.H.V.C.

Despite there being an E.U. directive to have a 10% target on biofuel use by 2020, the Department of Transport have deferred their plans to double the maximum amount of Ethanol in our petrol. It has been pointed out that some 4 million vehicles will be severely affected by the new E10 fuel. The F.B.H.V.C. is currently testing suitable additives to combat the use of Ethanol. Meanwhile it appears that if in doubt use petrol with a minimum octane of 97 RON or more as so far these are ethanol free.

Hydraulics;

The introduction of synthetic oils for hydraulic brakes and clutch systems throws up another question. How suitable are these in the older car? The earlier hydraulic systems were a bit prone to sticking pistons in the wheel cylinders, especially if the vehicle was left unused for a period. Apparently changing to a synthetic hydraulic oil can help. Our Man James welcomes further thoughts on this and all matters relating to lubricants, greases and so forth.

____________________________________________________________________________

*Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs aka ‘FBHVC’

 

This is the organisation which represents our fancy with the Government’s various forms of legislation and administration. It runs a most informative and factual website wherein may be found data on such hot topics as Bio Fuel, and the addition of ethanol with the associated problems that this occasions.

_____________________________________________________________________________

 

 

It is worth half an hour’s browse at this address …..

 

 

http://fbhvc.co.uk/

 

 

 

About Transporting Your Classic Car

You have purchased your Classic Vehicle. How are you getting it home or do you need to move it from one place to another for repair or restoration?

If you are sufficiently confident in the vehicle and your journey is not too irksome, then by all means with the insurance, road fund tax and M.O.T. in place, drive it. Our Man James outlines a few thoughts on transporting your classic car:-

Remember the age of the car. It probably was not designed for the long, fast dash up the motorway. If an elderly engine is run at constantly high speed, something will break. At the very least remember to lift your foot off the throttle from time to time, to allow the oil to reach places which will become starved of lubrication. A surge of oil through the system will be very beneficial. If you are not really used to the period controls and behavior of an old car then it is sensible to have it transported, or if you have access to a good tow vehicle and trailer, then fetch it by all means. Again check with your insurance company that you are covered to tow a trailer. You will need to have suitable straps and be aware of legislation affecting the towing of a trailer. Check on the weight of the loaded trailer to make sure it does not exceed the recommended towing weight of the towing vehicle. Did you know that a trailer is not allowed in the outside lane of a motorway? Once the car is home you are on territory you know and you can bond with your car in familiar surroundings.

Alternatively there are plenty of reliable Transport firms and individuals who will move the car for you. Make sure they have the correct Goods in Transit insurance and obtain a quote for the job. It may be possible on the longer runs to negotiate on a ‘return load ‘ basis, wherein your vehicle is collected at a time when the Transport firm has a lorry going in the appropriate direction. For continental work there are firms who specialize in long haul work taking several vehicles at one time. Fuel costs are rising all the time so it is hard to predict how much you should pay.

Do make a point of checking that your chosen Transport Firm has a valid Goods in Transit Insurance Policy

Shipping a vehicle abroad or bringing one in needs help from specialist Shipping agents, When buying a car from Australia you need to build in shipping costs, including all relevant port dues, insurance and Customs Duty. To all  this needs to be added V.A.T., normally at the current 20%. Certain historic vehicles attract a lower rater of V.A.T. which does help.

Our Man James welcomes queries on vehicle movement, shipping etc and in time will seek to offer links to specialist Firms.

About fun on three wheels

Our Man James admits to a weakness for three wheeled vehicles and remembers a few which have passed through. Where are they now.?News and sitings would be welcomed. If you have a favorite, please tell all. (photos by kind permission of Pioneer Automobiles, whose archive is well worth a visit, as indeed is the Website    www.pioneer-automobiles.co.uk)

The Busy Bee,

 

built in 1919 as a single seater with lovely odeon style cockpit, this little gem was asdly in need of restoration when last seen . It may be in the west country and hopefully it has found the t.l.c. it deserved. It is said that it had covered some 250,000 miles before the outbreak of W.W.2.

The 1978 A.B.C. basically a mini with two wheels at the front and one at the rear. Last seen heading towards the U.S.A.

The 1970 A.F. Spyder Sport 

AF Spider Sports

Made in small numbers, this particular one built for F1 team boss Colin Crabbe with generous cockpit and with performance and handling way beyond its appearance. Tuned mini cooper engine and mostly marine ply. Last seen in the Wirrall.

Berkeley T60

Berkeley T60 rear

A handful of these powered by the Excelsior two stroke air cooled engines have been enjoyed. Strong following from home and abroad

.Bond;

Bond Minicar EstateBond Ranger 875TS

The Microcar of the 1960’s had a diminutive air cooled engine of 125c.c.No reverse gear

The later Ranger featured a detuned Hillman Imp engine of 875c.c. and is capable of 80 m.p.h.

B.S.A. great Morgan competitor. Excellent 1100c.c. air cooled V twin engine or later with  perhaps less appealing Ford sidevalve power.

Citroen Lomax;

Citroen Lomax 224 Sports engine

simple and sturdy fibreglass body with Citroen 2.c.v. air cooled twin up front

Hudson Free Spirit

                            Hudson Free Spirit

single seater of superb quality. Renault five power plant. Last seen en route to Sweden.

J.Z.R. happy memories of a Morgan look a like with Honda 500c.c. power.

 

Later ones had bigger engines. Excellent build quality and good performance.

Mochet. 

Mochet Microcar

technically a four wheeler but with back wheels very close together. French with very small air cooled single cylinder engine. Last heard of in Herefordshire

Morgan. The best known in the sporting field. You can buy a new one if you have a spare £30,000.

Raleigh

Raleigh 3 wheeled van

Light delivery van built with motorcycle running gear. Actually had a steering wheel.

Reliant;

Reliant Truck

one of the best known British maker of three wheelers. See Dell- boy’s van but this is the Ant and rarer.

1930 Sandford 

 

1100c.c. french version of the Morgan, considered more sophisticated. Cockpit like a Tiger Moth.

There are many more three wheelers about  If you have one please tell us about it

About tales and tittle tattle at afternoon tea at The Motor House

In which Our Man James seeks to recover some of the lesser known Motoring stories, the accuracy of which are not totally guaranteed. They will probably not have appeared in the media, rather have just slipped out during a period of relaxation between polishing etc .

Feel free to add to these gems so that they are not lost .

There is for instance the tale of the Butler of a Great House ( not Jeeves), who having had a disaster on the horses, ran off with the family jewels. He was quickly apprehended one morning and taken to the local police station. At tea time the Mistress of the house realized to her horror that there was no one to serve afternoon tea, so she hurried to the police station, withdrew all charges and brought the butler home. The butler in question served his mistress for over 60 years until her death. The jewels were never recovered and nothing more was said.

The Mistress was given a brand new Talbot 8/18 shortly after her wedding in1923. She had a problem with gear changing which remained with her throughout her life. It is said that her Morris 1000 never actually reached fourth gear and when challenged, the Mistress would say that she liked the sound of the engine best in third. At times the butler was employed as chauffeur to drive the Morris 1000. On a picnic one day in the Derbyshire Dales there is a fond memory of the Mistress and her guests, taking cucumber sandwiches in the car, whilst the butler/chauffeur stood dutifully outside until the meal was finished. Alas it can snow very hard in the Derbyshire Dales so the unfortunate man had turned to a snowman by this time. He brushed himself down and took the party home without a murmur of complaint.

__________________________________________________________________________

"Perryman Platz"

- - - - -   An Austin Seven tale of skill, daring, and intrigue!  - - -
- -

Colin used to own an Austin Seven called 'Bunny'.   It was quite a rare
machine; a Gordon England Cup Model, manufactured in 1928.   Like all
Sevens it had the most direct steering ever invented, coupled with
practically no brakes at all.   Like a lot of small vehicles of the era
the hand-brake operated the front brakes only, whilst the foot brake
functioned purely on the rears.

About a month after I had passed my driving test, in 1954, Colin  rang
me up to enquire if  I was willing to put my new found skills to good
use.    The plan was to save him having to pay road fund tax for Bunny
to travel just the few miles from Sheen, where he then lived, to Slough
Farm.   The execution of this plan was to be that he should tow me with
the company Morris Minor, that he then drove.   (Company Morris Minor -
how things have changed.)    The object was to compete in a production
car trial.    Well you know how it is. Offer any young fellow a drive in
any vehicle at that stage of his driving career and he will jump at the
chance!

So it was, then, that the following Sunday lunch-time found us tying the
two vehicles together with the thickest piece of rope that ever moored a
battleship. "We won't go round the bypass" said Colin "it will be
quieter through Kingston."    We set off, with me trying desperately to
keep the rope tight, whilst steering a very erratic course in the wake
of the Minor.   All went fairly well  for a few miles.   I only got
within two and a half inches of the Minor's back bumper about six or
seven times, and all the while the brakes were getting warmer.   Brake
fade is not a term which you hear very often these days, and is an
experience to which those who have not driven an elderly vehicle will
ever have been subjected.    The brakes, when they got hot, were like
you did not have any!

As we got up Facett Road behind the 'Tech ( sorry - University now )
Colin had to stop fairly smartly.   I had as much chance of pulling up
behind him as the proverbial snowball in hell.   With quick thinking, or
more-probably with just blind terror, I pulled out , avoided his  bumper
and came to rest alongside him. The rope entwined round just about
anything that stuck out!    Colin, those of you who knew him will
remember, did not flap easily.    With great aplomb he wound down his
window, bid me a cheery good afternoon, and queried "What are you doing
there?"    So there we were, parked next to each other, and tied firmly
together like a pair of kippers.   We dismounted, untangled the rope,
realigned the vehicles, tied them back together, and continued the
journey.

There were a couple of other incidents, by comparison fairly minor, on
the remainder of the journey, and finally we arrived at Farmer Telling's
field.    The phrase 'mechanically if not mentally intact' comes to
mind.

It was my first visit to a Malden and District event, and thus was both
character building and habit forming.   I spent the afternoon as bouncer
and passenger in a TC MG belonging to Pip ( surname forgotten ).    The
event was organised  I think by Walter Ruskin, and the entry of about a
dozen or so vehicles included such luminaries as Bill Thrust, Robert
Barnstable, Eve Hawkings and Ian Bell.

Then it was time to return home. Tow rope was re-tied, lights were
switched on ( do you remember six volt lights? ) and we set of  as the
dusk came upon us.   It was always a necessary part of the plot to
attend the local hostelry prior to undertaking the return journey
proper. ( Oh! for the days before the breathalyser )   Finally we were
on the way.   Obviously the forward journey had taught us a lot, for the
return was completed practically without hitch.

I say practically as there was a fairly major problem when we were only
about half a mile from Colin's home.   The problem was a dear old lady.
As we were waiting at the Black Horse to turn right into Upper Richmond
Road she appeared.   She hovered.   She dithered.   I by this time had
learned to keep the rope taught.   She stepped between the two cars,
tripped on the rope and went base-over-apex down onto the ground.   I
was out so quickly it was untrue in order to stop Colin pulling away -
which I achieved.   We picked her up and sat her on a nearby seat.   The
poor dear was complaining of her arm, which it later transpired she had
broken.    Colin went off and phoned for an ambulance  ( when did they
invent mobile phones? ), which I seem to remember took a long time to
arrive.    Pam comforted the old lady whilst Colin and I moved the
vehicles out of the way.

Whilst we waited for the ambulance, and the inevitable policeman  ( who
turned up on a push bike - and no he didn't cuff us round the ear with
his rolled up cape ) I made the tow rope belatedly more visible with my
handkerchief. Finally the ambulance arrived , the old lady received good
attention, and we all went home.

The ramifications of this incident were tremendous.    Colin's firm were
not too amused that he was even towing another vehicle with their car,
let alone having accidents with it!   Colin's firm's insurers were even
less impressed, and suggested that Bunny's insurers should become
involved!!   Then there was the untaxed status of Bunny - the policeman
on his bike was quite interested in this particular particular!!!
After many months it got sorted out and we put it all down to experience
- in my case the first experience of having to produce my new driving
licence.   So far as we know the old lady received an adequate payment
in compensation and her arm was completely healed.

Oh! yes.   Why the strange title to this little story?   Well, the lady
was named Miss Perryman.    Colin and I always referred to that corner
as Perryman Platz from that day forward.

--
Mike Whittome

__________________________________________________________________

Resource Management

Last October the Wall Street Journal published an article showcasing
 the most innovative and interesting uses of prison labour - restoring
 classic cars.
Outside Las Vegas, at Nevada's Southern Desert Correctiona Center,
medium security inmates are given the option of working in the prison
body shop, restoring old cars. At the time of writing the shop had 3
cars in various stages of restoration.
The prison body shop, known for the advertising motto 'we have the time
 to do it right', made the Nevada Department of Corrections some one
hundred and thirty thousand dollars last year, whilst teaching inmates
new skills and bringing old cars back to life.

Are you reading this Home Secretary?

About Driving Your Classic Vehicle

You are now the proud owner of a Classic Vehicle. Do you know how to drive it?

Hudson Free Spirit

Do you understand what  the various controls, switches etc do?

Jaguar E Type

The modern Classic is probably quite straightforward and not too much different from its modern counterparts. It is unlikely to have sat nav, cruise control, anti lock brakes or air conditioning. It might possibly have power assisted steering and could have electric windows.

Our Man James now looks at the older vehicles and considers some of the equipment you may find in your new purchase.

MG VA Saloon

Looking at the instruments, you should find a speedometer and maybe a fuel gauge which will be familiar, temperature gauge too perhaps. There could be an ammeter showing if your dynamo is charging and an oil pressure gauge to tell you if the engine is healthy. This is an important item. You need to know what your particular vehicle should be showing, when cold and hot. An M.G.B. for instance should show 60-80 lbs per sq inch when started but a Morris Cowley of the 1920’s may have only 5-10lbs. A sudden drop in pressure indicates that there is a problem and you should stop the engine and investigate. A rise in pressure can mean a blocked oil way which is equally serious.

Switches will vary from car to car to control, lights, indicators, wipers etc.

Watch out for the pedals though. On some prewar vehicles you will find that the accelerator is the middle one and the brake is on the right. A Model T Ford needs a special paragraph and will be dealt with shortly.

Have you a manual gearbox, automatic or a pre-select one? Manual ones are simple enough but beware, some are the wrong way around. First being bottom right and top being where first is. 3 speed boxes often have reverse where first should be. All this makes life interesting if you are not concentrating. Certain cars have the gear lever on the right hand side. This often goes up the driver’s trouser leg on entering or exiting the car. Our Man James was filming on a Miss Marple set and was waiting for traffic lights to turn green. When they did he inadvertently selected reverse and ran into the hero’s car behind, all because the gear change was back to front.

The pre-select gearbox will be found on many Daimlers. Lanchesters and Rileys. Everything looks normal as regards the pedals and you will see a gearshift either on the steering column or maybe on the floor. There is no H pattern as the changes are linear. Starting a car fitted with such a box, produces a strange whining noise which is the fluid flywheel. Whilst the car is in Neutral you will see that the clutch pedal comes  only halfway up its normal travel. To engage gear move the lever to 1. Nothing will happen until you depress the clutch pedal and it is wise to put your right foot on the brake at this point. You must treat the clutch pedal as a switch, give it a sharp tap and let go. Do not attempt to slip the clutch and ease the power in, the fluid flywheel takes care of that.Although the car will now try and creep forward it is restrained by your foot on the brake pedal. Letting go will cause the car to move and a gentle touch of the throttle will send you on your way. Select the next gear and hit the clutch ‘switch’ and so on to the 3rd and 4th. At a T junction you will have selected 2 perhaps. Simply slow the car on the brake and when ready, move off by pushing the throttle pedal. You do not need to touch the clutch as you would in the case of a manual gearbox. Reversing is the same. Select R, tap the clutch pedal and off you go.

The Model T Ford deserves special mention. Our Man James would defer to Neil Tucker ( www.modeltford.co.uk ) as the acknowledged expert on this particular vehicle in the U.K. and it is believed that on purchasing a vehicle from him, he is prepared to offer driving instruction on his Buckinghamshire farm.

There are many versions of the Model T, saloon, tourer, Doctor’s Coupe and a host of commercials, but all share the same basic controls. A young gentleman from Birmingahm arrived one day in a shiny white Transit  to inspect a Model T van . It was love at first sight until he was offered a test drive. It was all too much for the poor chap and he returned home with a puzzled look on his face.

The apprentices at Ford’s Dagenham factory built a Model T tourer from scratch. It is a beautiful re creation but how many of them could actually drive it?

Ford Model T Van inside  It looks harmless enough. You see three pedals and a handbrake, what is hard about that?

Take the pedals. The left hand one , the clutch perhaps? No, depress it and the car moves forward in low gear, release it and you are in top, heading for the scenery at a fair rate of knots. Hit the middle one to slow up?-Mistake, it is reverse . The brake is on the right.

Where is the accelerator then?- its a lever on the steering column. When in doubt reach for the handbrake? Um no. There are three positions for the handbrake. Half way is a form of neutral and best marked in some way with a bit of chalk or paint along its track. Some say you should be in this position to start the car, others suggest you start with the lever right back. The fully forward position will release the car if it has not taken itself off already.

Some Model T’s have a self starter, others need to be wound over on the crank handle. It is important to know that the car is in neutral before winding the handle as it is quite possible that the car will eagerly leap forward with unfortunate consequences. If in doubt it is recommended that the rear wheels are jacked up off the ground prior to starting. It is easy to see if the car is in neutral and if it actually isn’t, no harm will be done.

Having said this, there is enormous pleasure to be had from mastering a Model T. It has respectable performance and attracts enormous interest at Shows and Rallies. There is also a feeling of reverence towards those that have learned to live with one. Don’t be put off and certainly add one to your wish list.

Welcome to Our Man James

The Concept for this website is based on likening life to the world of the Great House, much on the lines of T.V.’s’ Downton Abbey.’ There is the Master and Mistress and their offspring plus a retinue of servants and employees, tasked with the day to day running of the Estate.

For assistance with many matters connected to the running of  life in the Great House itself, one refers to Jeeves the Butler,( Ask Jeeves)  whose knowledge of most matters appears second to none.

For the purposes of this site we enter the world of the Motor House to one side of the Great House. Here Our Man James is charged with looking after the Family’s fleet of fine motor cars, from the Master’s Rolls Royce, to the young Mistress’s Austin Seven and not forgetting the Estate Truck. Our Man James  is not the mechanic, but like Jeeves, seeks to build up a network of advice and assistance which will further enhance maintenance, repair and replacement of the fleet. In doing so, an easily sourced supply of information should be available to both existing Classic Vehicle Owners and to those contemplating the acquisition thereof. The world of the Classic Vehicle enthusiast is immense and somewhat daunting to those unfamiliar with it. There are many people who want to try Classic Vehicle Ownership so Our Man James seeks to give them the confidence to join in.

For those already participating,  Our Man James equally looks to interact with them, examining  problems which may occur,  help with both buying and selling classic vehicles, finding spare parts, and any Classic Vehicle topic which the reader may like to raise. There is a large store of knowledge out there and sadly much of it is being lost as experts in a particular field either retire or pass away. Input from those currently possessing useful information will be welcome and the aim is to provide links to important sites to garner as much information and advice as possible under one roof.

Feel free to contribute your questions or if you feel able to answer someone else’s problem, then Our Man James needs to hear from you. Contributions will be scrutinized prior to insertion to avoid inappropriate content and Our Man James will accept no responsibility for recommendations or advice received.The object of this exercise is to promote the Classic Vehicle Movement in general, build a useful and informative database of tips, hints and ideas, which will encourage fresh Classic Vehicle Ownership and help preserve the existing enthusiasm in our hobby.

Our Man James is probably not immortal and the Motor House with its contents will need constant attention if it is to be preserved for future generations. This concept will need your help. Various topics will be raised as the site grows. Useful input will be vital and much appreciated.